Optical System Architect at Infinera Corporation
Ottawa, CA

Infinera is looking for a coherent optical system architect to join the Optical System Group located in Ottawa, Canada.


Imagine being part of a team that is fundamentally changing the way people communicate, the way they collaborate, the way they watch TV and explore the universe through the internet. Utilizing our uniquely differentiated technology, we have created an Intelligent Transport Network with more speed, capacity and scalability than ever before. Imagine a world with unlimited bandwidth. The network of tomorrow will allow for content and creativity limited only by the imaginations of its users.

If this is something that interests you, that excites you, come take a look at a team not bound by large company obstacles and bureaucracy, where an idea today can be set in motion tomorrow. Come take a look at Infinera!

The engineer will be responsible for characterizing the performance of Infinera's next-generation coherent photonic integrated circuits (PICs). The ideal candidate will be prepared to work with early prototype line cards to get an initial look at product performance and provide rapid feedback to the PIC team. Performance characterization will include bandwidth measurements, OSNR tolerance, laser linewidth, and common-mode rejection ratio. OSG works closely with many parts of the company, and the candidate should anticipate frequent interactions with the coherent ASIC team on coherent signal processing issues and ADC/DAC ENOB, with optical, ASIC, and systems engineering teams. A key component of this role is the ability to understand and make tradeoffs between optical, electrical, and digital capabilities in order to optimize the overall system performance.


Infinera’s next generation communications platform will be defined, developed, characterized, and optimized on your optical testbed. Your experimental data will fuel our design, starting with off-the-shelf components, evolving to prototype PICs, and eventually taking the form of the final integrated line card. This requires ownership of the optical design, optimization methods, and stabilization techniques. One particular component of your research will be pushing our optical systems to higher baud rates.

Frequently used diagnosis techniques include using high-speed arbitrary waveform generators and real-time oscilloscopes to stand in for the high-performance ADC and DACs which will be integrated into next-generation coherent processing ASICs. We will rely on the candidate’s experience and insight to derive the system performance based on observations of the performance of the prototype and final linecards. This might require measurements of harmonic distortion, linewidth, jitter, bandwidth, or extinction ratio, and often requires the development of new test platforms to clearly identify the behaviors that lead to system penalty.

Through frequent interaction with the firmware team, you will assist in optimizing performance-critical aspects such as powerup self-calibration, receive acquisition, real-time performance monitoring, and in-service performance optimization. These algorithms will be tested during the implementation stage to ensure they operate properly. We expect that a key optimization will be fine-tuning the DSP parameters to account for non-idealities in the electrical signal integrity.

Results will be presented internally and documented as electrical and optical performance specifications for next-generation platforms.

Some customer-facing interactions may be required, such as field trials using prototype equipment, or debugging unusual field failures that cannot be resolved through the normal customer service process.


  • PhD. in  Electrical Engineering or Applied Physics with minimum of 3 years of industrial experience in optical communications, photonics, high speed electronics or systems.  Will consider Master’s degree with 5+ years of applicable experience.
  • Fundamental understanding of optical communication systems, DWDM transmission systems, photonic integrated components, electronic (integrated) circuits, and signal analysis and processing.
  • Hands-on experience working with system-level optical communication hardware and components.
  • Extensive understanding of coherent communications systems, including experience with QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM, as well as coding and forward error correction algorithms.
  • Experience characterizing high-speed RF and mm-wave interconnects, amplifiers, and components.
  • Characterization of RF/mm-wave systems, such as S parameter measurements, jitter measurements, and ADC/DAC performance and ENOB
  • Experience with specifications for RF amplifiers such as Mach-Zehnder Modulator Drivers and Transimpedance Amplifiers, for symbol rates up to 100 GBaud.
  • Hands-on experience with high-speed optical and electrical test, and measurement equipment control and data acquisition.
  • Programming experience in Matlab, Python, VB.net, or C desired.

Infinera is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability. EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled.